There are eight schools in Washington with programs that can prepare students for a career designing video games. Associate's degrees, as well as certificate programs, are available, and students have the option to receive this training in continuing education programs. In addition to traditional classroom instruction, students will spend large amounts of time in computer labs, working with the computer software utilized by the game design industry. Portfolio development is incorporated into most programs and some include the chance to complete an internship, as well.
Overviews of the programs at three game design schools in Washington are provided below, followed by a table with tuition and school information.
Bellevue College offers a degree for aspiring video game designers at its campus in Bellevue. The digital media arts associate's program requires students to earn 90-91 credits. Required courses cover digital design and storytelling, animation and game design, motion graphics and graphics design and portfolio creation.
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Students enrolled in the associate's degree program in digital gaming and media at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Kirkland gain a strong foundational and technical background in animation, game development and graphics. Major topics covered examine high-resolution sculpting, lighting and composition, programming fundamentals and environmental art. Students also receive instruction in Photoshop and Maya, storyboard development, character development and three-dimensional animation. Additionally, this program requires that students earn 20 credits in academic core subjects like math, English composition and social science.
University of Washington - Seattle Campus
Students who want to learn to design an original video game can take advantage of the continuing education certificate program in game design at the University of Washington's campus in Seattle. This program takes eight months to complete and provides three courses. Students take the courses consecutively and begin their education with a course in game design fundamentals. The second course provides instruction in game mechanics and system design. Students work on teams during the final course, using the building blocks learned in the first two courses to design a video game.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Video Game Design Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees|
|Bellevue College||Four-year, public; midsize city||Associate in Arts in Digital Media Arts||$3,778 in-state; $9,144 out-of-state (2018-2019 undergraduate tuition and fees)*|
|Lake Washington Institute of Technology||Four-year, public; large suburb||Digital Gaming and Media Associate in Applied Science - Transfer||$4,251 in-state; $$9,618 out-of-state (2018-2019 undergraduate tuition and fees)*|
|University of Washington - Seattle Campus||Four-year, public; large city||Certificate in Game Design||$11,207 in-state; $36,588 out-of-state (2018-2019 undergraduate tuition and fees)*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator